guitars

Gibson 1960 Les Paul 0 8145 is from the final year of the model’s original-production era, and likely from one of the later runs.

The story of 1960 Gibson Les Paul 0 8145—a ’burst with a nameplate and, now, a reputation.

These days it’s difficult to imagine any vintage Gibson Les Paul being a tough sell, but there was a time when 1960 ’bursts were considered less desirable than the ’58s and ’59s of legend—even though Clapton played a ’60 cherry sunburst in his Bluesbreakers days. Such was the case in the mid 1990s, when the family of a local musician who was the original owner of one of these guitars walked into Rumble Seat Music’s original Ithaca, New York, store with this column’s featured instrument.

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This body style rivals the Vox Phantom, Gibson Flying V, and Bo Diddley’s cigar box guitars for least-ergonomic-but-most-’60s shape.

With this wacky instrument, the Domino brand set its sights on the California surf scene.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the Ventures, their amazing music, and the impact they made. In case you missed it, one of the band’s founding members, Don Wilson, passed away in January. I was reminded of my interviews with Don and his take on the band’s history and influence. For the uninitiated: The Ventures sound came to embody surf rock and instrumental prowess, featuring driving rhythms and catchy riffs that put the electric guitar out in front. Don and the boys performed their hit song “Walk, Don’t Run” on Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beechnut Show in 1960 and lit the kindling for the first electric guitar craze—with the Beatles creating the inferno a few years later.

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Students in lutherie school can build a variety of instruments depending on the program. Here we see a budding luthier rough carving the back of an archtop guitar in preparation for running and vicing.

From enrichment classes to six-month master-luthier training, here’s a big-picture view for potential lutherie students.

As many of you know, I have operated a school of lutherie for over 40 years. It all started when I took control of the Guitar Hospital repair shop from my friend Dan Erlewine in the mid ’80s. The establishment was already offering short-term training to select individuals, and, at first, I focused on teaching repairs, which was the prime area of interest for most students. Since then, my school has grown from working with one student at a time to a peak of over 20 students in a single term.

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